Compare Lexapro vs. Cymbalta

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Lexapro (escitalopram)

Prescription only

Cymbalta (duloxetine)

Prescription only
Improves mood and helps you relax.

Lexapro (escitalopram) is good for treating depression and anxiety. It is less likely to cause side effects than and has fewer drug interactions. However, it might not be a good choice if you have liver or heart problems.

3.6/ 5 average rating with 1063 reviewsforLexapro
Improves mood and relieves certain types of pain.

Cymbalta (duloxetine) is good for treating depression, anxiety, and some forms of chronic pain, but it is more likely than other antidepressants to cause problems if you drink alcohol or have high blood pressure.

3.6/ 5 average rating with 496 reviewsforCymbalta
Upsides
  • Effective at relieving depression and anxiety symptoms.
  • Lowers the likelihood that your depression will come back.
  • Lexapro (escitalopram) has less drug interactions than other similar antidepressants and might cause fewer side effects.
  • Cymbalta (duloxetine) may help relieve nerve pain from diabetes and other forms of chronic pain.
  • Cymbalta (duloxetine) has several uses, which may be good for people with multiple conditions.
  • Available as a generic, which is cheaper.
Downsides
  • Can cause a small weight gain of 1-5 pounds.
  • Lexapro (escitalopram) is not a good option if you have heart or liver problems.
  • The first antidepressant you try might not always work, so you may need to try a few different medicines until you find one that works for you.
  • Cymbalta (duloxetine) may not be a good option if you're a heavy drinker, or have liver or kidney problems.
  • Cymbalta (duloxetine) can increase high blood pressure.
  • Like most antidepressants, Cymbalta (duloxetine) can cause higher risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior for people aged 24 and younger.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Extended release
Price
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Reviews
1063 reviews so far
61%
saidit'sworth it
48%
saiditworked well
15%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Lexapro (escitalopram)?

Leave a review
496 reviews so far
58%
saidit'sworth it
49%
saiditworked well
24%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Cymbalta (duloxetine)?

Leave a review
Side effects
25possible side effects
  • Headache
    24%
  • Nausea
    18%
  • Problems ejaculating
    14%
  • Sleepiness
    13%
  • Insomnia
    12%
  • Dry mouth
    9%
  • Diarrhea
    8%
  • Fatigue
    8%
  • Decreased libido
    7%
  • Problems with orgasm
    6%
  • Constipation
    5%
  • Flu-like symptoms
    5%
  • Increased sweating
    4%
  • Indigestion
    3%
  • Vomiting
    3%
  • Neck/shoulder pain
    3%
  • Abnormal dreams
    3%
  • Decrease appetite
    3%
  • Lack of energy
    3%
  • Tingling or burning in the hands/feet
    2%
  • Abdominal pain
    2%
  • Flatulence
    2%
  • Toothache
    2%
  • Yawning
    2%
  • Menstrual disorder
    2%
See more detailed side effects
12possible side effects
  • Nausea
    23%
  • Headache
    14%
  • Dry mouth
    13%
  • Drowsiness
    10%
  • Fatigue
    9%
  • Difficulty sleeping
    9%
  • Constipation
    9%
  • Dizziness
    9%
  • Diarrhea
    9%
  • Decreased appetite
    7%
  • Excessive sweating
    6%
  • Abdominal pain
    5%
See more detailed side effects
Risks and risk factors
  • Suicidal thoughts or behavior
    • Age 24 years or younger
  • Serotonin syndrome
    • Using other medications that affect serotonin
  • Withdrawal
    • Stopping Lexapro (escitalopram) suddenly
  • Increased bleeding
    • Taking blood thinners
  • Sexual problems
  • Uncovering of bipolar disorder
    • Bipolar disorder
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Suicidal thoughts or behavior
    • Age 24 years or younger
  • Serotonin syndrome
    • Taking tricyclic antidepressants, lithium, tramadol, fentanyl, amphetamines, certain headache medications (triptans), St. John's Wort
  • Withdrawal
    • Stopping Cymbalta (duloxetine) abruptly
  • Increased bleeding
    • Taking other blood-thinning drugs (including aspirin, NSAIDs such as Advil, warfarin)
  • Changes in blood pressure and risk of falls
    • Elderly patients
    • History of gait disturbances
    • Taking more than 60 mg of Cymbalta (duloxetine) daily
    • Taking other medicines that lower blood pressure
    • History of high blood pressure
  • Bipolar disorder
    • History of bipolar disorder
    • At risk for bipolar disorder
See more detailed risks and warnings